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Tiffany & Co - Interview with Nicola Andreatta

Tiffany & Co Interview with Nicola Andreatta

The CEO of Tiffany watches looks back on a year marked by the Metro and the Square, and looks ahead to 2018.

What was 2017 like for Tiffany watches?
It was a very important year for Tiffany watches, because we launched two new collections, the Tiffany Metro for women, and the Tiffany Square for men, which we had been working on for nearly three years. All the design work was done internally. We invested in a prototyping department, with 3D machines and a new assembly line. A huge amount of effort went into this limited edition of 180 pieces, but the commercial results have been very gratifying. In terms of volumes, the Metro collection was strategically more important. Also, of course, because it is a proper women’s watch collection. The Metro not only embodies Tiffany’s values and history, it is also the perfect marriage of watch and jewellery. And the range clearly appeals to our clients: for yet another year, our figures have shown strong double-digit growth.

Interview de Nicola Andreatta

A Metro model © Tiffany & Cie

2017 was also special for the Tiffany group in another way: we appointed a new CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo, who spent 17 years at Bulgari, and also our new artistic officer Reed Krakoff, who joined us from the fashion world. This new duo will drive the company in the coming years. Alessandro Bogliolo has already confirmed his desire to continue with watch development, and restated the importance of this category for Tiffany in the years to come.

Were there any pleasant surprises?
Yes, beginning with the incredible success of our Metro high jewellery line, which comprises unique pieces that showcase the artistic crafts and all kinds of gem-cutting techniques. We worked with some exceptional artisans, including Anita Porchet, incorporated marquetry into some of our high jewellery creations (which also tell the time), and demonstrated our expertise in snow-setting. These one-off pieces, costing between CHF 80,000 and 250,000, were all sold at two events held in New York and Tokyo.

What were the year’s best-sellers?
The Atlas collection remains our top seller, but we have expanded the East-West collection with many new women’s models, and it has shown great potential.

The Tiffany Square is a limited series, but it adds a new dimension to the brand. Will you continue to pursue this avenue?
Yes, we started with a movement based on a genuine square calibre that we found in our archives, and which we redesigned. We will build on this foundation. We will be adding a micro-rotor, and other developments will follow.

Interview de Nicola Andreatta

Square © Tiffany

Do you have any announcements planned for this winter?
Moving into spring, we will launch a T collection inspired by the jewellery collection of the same name, which will lead to a jewellery watch targeted at a younger clientele.

What are your most successful markets, and which are more challenging than one might expect?
Everything comes back to our brand’s visibility, and the number of Tiffany stores in each market. We can’t compare Europe with the USA, which has 95 Tiffany boutiques that sell watches, or even with Japan, which has 58 stores (out of 316 worldwide). The Tiffany brand is also very strong in Korea and Hong Kong. Our strategy does not encompass selling watches outside our own stores, because it is difficult for retailers to convey our 170-year heritage.

In your opinion, why should a woman – or a man – choose a Tiffany watch?
A woman should choose a Tiffany watch because of what the brand represents. And the perception is naturally very different in the USA from elsewhere in the world. We have recently refocused on our core strengths, including reinforcing Tiffany’s expertise in diamonds. Even Tiffany’s most affordable watches are set with diamonds. But we have also been innovative in design – the Metro bracelet is inspired by jewellery, a completely new concept in watchmaking, and had to be adapted to the case. Men, on the other hand, are looking for a specific object that reflects a strong brand, but also the uniqueness of a more American design, and above all exclusivity, which applies particularly to our Tiffany Square edition, limited to 180 pieces.

How will 2018 be an important year for Tiffany?
We have launched four collections in three years. It’s now time for us to take a step back and consolidate our ranges. We will analyse them all, adjust certain references, probably redesign one or two, and take the time to consider our next steps with a cool head.

 

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